Monday, August 29, 2016

Loose Cannon Fodder #34 [08.26.16]

We began this week on Friday night by watching Raw, which oddly enough most of it fit into the Hulu 90 minute replay and... It's... A... Three hour show.    I feel badly for those who watched this in the full three hour time slot live.    The show opened with Finn Balor giving up the Universal Title because WWE booking is a mess and that set up a Fatal Fourway for next week to determine a new champion and the qualifying matches tonight took up most of the show.    That and The Dudleyz retiring for some reason.

Seth Rollins won the first match against Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens defeated Neville, Big Cass defeated Rusev and in the main event Roman Reigns defeated Chris Jericho to put the four way match next week as Rollins-Owens-Cass-Reigns.   Wouldn't it be something if Big Cass somehow won it??   It is funny though that we came *that* close to Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn again, and yet instead we get Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns again.   I know that it seems most likely at this point Seth Rollins will win since he was in the match against Finn Balor on Sunday at Summerslam and can be seen as the number two guy or whatever in that sense, but I'd really like to see Kevin Owens win.   At least this adds a slight bit of mystery to next week's Raw.

In non-qualifying matches, we did not see Big E defeat Karl Anderson nor did we see something happen with Titus O'Neil and Darren Young, but other than those two parts and a Braun Strowman squash match we didn't miss anything which is so strange.   Were those three segments really an additional hour and a half worth of TV time?   WWE doesn't make sense sometimes, but I'm certainly happy for the Hulu replay.

Bayley made her Raw debut and defeated Dana Brooke since Charlotte wanted the night off.  I just want to see Charlotte and Asuka beat the crap out of each other at this point.   Also, how did it go about with Mick Foley where he's like "We've signed the hottest female free agent to Raw!"??  What makes Bayley a free agent?   Is everyone in NXT a free agent?  If so, since Shelton Benjamin was set to return to Smack Down! and now he's not, why can't they just bring up Samoa Joe or someone else?  Did Bayley become a free agent by losing her match with Asuka and kind of having an NXT send off that night?  I really don't understand this and I wish that someone would explain it to me but I doubt anyone ever will.

There were a ton of segments leading up to The Dudleyz retirement and all I could think was what would happen if they kept these segments in for some reason and then edited out the actual in ring segment.   That would have been funny, but I had to see it anyway.   The Shining Stars- who had all those vignettes on Raw and seemingly disappeared onto Superstars, Main Event and being cut from the Hulu replay- came out and of course The Dudleyz got to do one last 3-D through a table and all that-- their old tired routine and then they got attacked by Karl Anderson and Luke "Doc" Gallows.   Will we get an eventual Club vs. Dudleyz match?   Probably not, but oh well.   I just want to see The Club as tag team champions now so they can run wild on Raw since I thought that was why they were brought into WWE.   Though The Dudleyz did fight on the Summerslam pre-show, so there's that bad booking decision as well.

Impact opened with a battle royal won by Mike Bennett, who is now apparently going to get to face Lashley... again.    Jeff Hardy lost a match to Abyss and I just keep thinking of how back in the day there was this Toy Biz two pack with these two guys in it and while it might seem like TNA has come a long way, I feel like they really haven't.   Speaking of which, Allie won a battle royal or some such nonsense to become the new Knockouts Champion.   Don't worry, women of TNA, if you haven't been champion yet you will be eventually.   Really, is Marti Belle the only woman in TNA who hasn't held the title yet?  (I feel like Rosemary hasn't had a fair run as a wrestler yet)   Soon, Dixie Carter will somehow hold that title, just watch.

Aron Rex has this backstage promo thing where he basically says whoever loses the EC3-Drew Galloway match tonight will be likely facing him at Bound for Glory because they'll get mad at him.   He didn't really say that, but it's what I heard.   Then Drew Galloway pushed EC3 into a pool and EC3 did the spitting out water thing HHH does and it was kind of funny-- perhaps the only highlight so far on this otherwise seeming waste of show.

Speaking of waste, here comes Eli Drake.    Drake talked to most of the X Division as there will be a gauntlet match next week to crown a new champion.   I'm not sure why TNA didn't instead just have some kind of qualifying matches for the gauntlet, but I suppose it's because they can't afford to contract the talent for one night even though we recently saw Chuck Taylor in TNA and this would also be a good use of him.   But no, this Eli Drake shit was much better than actual, you know, wrestling.

EC3 defeated Drew Galloway in the main event to keep his spot against Lashley in 37 nights.    Galloway took exception with Aron Rex for whatever reason and that looks like it will now be Aron Rex's first feud in TNA when, you know, we could see Aron Rex see fight a TNA original instead of someone he could have faced in WWE at one point.   Maybe a nice feud with James Storm, but whatever, let's just book this crap TNA.   

We didn't watch Smack Down! and I don't know that we will.   The idea of a Dean Ambrose-AJ Styles title match is interesting to me though because we might start watching Smack Down! more if AJ Styles is champion.   Regardless, we'll be watching this week because The Headbangers are set to return as rumors would have it.   Also, we skipped NXT since there were only the two matches taped before TOB2 and so I feel like it's going to be a lot of recapping I just don't want to sit through right now.    We'll probably put it on in the background at some point but there are no guarentees as I sit here on a Monday morning and am ready to start watching Raw tomorrow and thus beginning our week again.     There is a new episode or two of ROH TV that we've missed or need to watch, but I wasn't really impressed by their last PPV based on the results and so I'm just trying to find a good point to pick up watching ROH as well-- especially since everything just got so busy around Summerslam time.    Here is to hoping this week we can get back to our normal sort of schedule with professional wrestling.  

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Professional Wrestling Review: You Can't CWC Me! - Week 6 Review

Official WWE Results here:

In our sixth week of the CWC we had three matches even though the week before we only had two.   If they kept showing us two matches per week, then we'd have an extra week completing the second round, but they instead did two matches for the first week of the second round and then split the last six matches into these two shows, which I guess makes some sort of sense.   In any case, these are the exciting matches since either person could really win and I'm now recapping them as "def" instead of "vs" because I think by now we all know who has won and who has lost.

Match One: Akira Tozawa def. Jack Gallagher

The interesting aspect of this match is that the winner is going on to face Gran Metalik in the Elite 8 round.    We saw Gran Metalik vs. Tajiri and it reminded me of Super Crazy vs. Tajiri, but Gran Metalik vs. Akira Tozawa will likely somehow be even better than that, as we have this Mexico vs. Japan rivalry.   Admittedly, I would have liked to see Jack Gallagher win this one because he is just that impressive and the winner of the match versus Gran Metalik goes on to likley face Zack Sabre Jr, which I would have liked to see Jack Gallagher do, but let's face it, the Final Four on this side of the brackets will likely be Zack Sabre Jr vs. Gran Metalik, so I guess in the long run the winner here didn't matter as they will ultimately lose to Gran Metalik anyway.    I think Gran Metalik-Akira Tozawa will be a great match though and I'd love to see WWE sign Tozawa, but I also really want them to sign Jack Gallagher even though his time in this tournament is now over.

Match Two: Noam Dar def. HoHo Lun

This was perhaps the most intriguing match this week because either man could have won it.  I felt like HoHo Lun should have been pushed a little bit further but what can I do?   Noam Dar will now go on to face (and likely lose to) Zack Sabre Jr.   I respect that they're both going to have that mat-based submission style of wrestling, but doesn't it feel like ZSJ-HoHo Lun would have been a lot more fun?   I just feel like there could be ZSJ-Noam Dar matches out there already and by having ZSJ vs. HoHo Lun WWE could have been creating something truly special.   But I'm not the bookerman and I will miss HoHo Lun in this tournament but hope to see him again in WWE one day.

Match Three: Brian Kendrick def. Tony Nese 

As much as I like Akira Tozawa and Noam Dar, I felt like the first two matches on this show were all about saying goodbye to wrestlers who I liked better than them.   With this match though, I really like that they kept Brian Kendrick in this tournament.   I like Tony Nese, but if he doesn't come to WWE it isn't the end of the world for me.    Brian Kendrick was being booked as "do or die" in this tournament and I really enjoy that because he keeps finding ways to win even though it looks like he might be out.    I actually wouldn't object- at this point in time- to Kendrick going to the finals against ZSJ and winning the whole thing to sort of become the leader of the new Cruiserweight revolution on Raw.   Kendrick seems to be in the best shape of his life and is doing some of his best work.   I just wish WWE didn't hold such grudges (and for a smile) and would bring Paul London back as well, though it's unknown whether or not Paul London would even want to return.    Unfortunately for Brian Kendrick he goes against Kota Ibushi in the next round which will likely spell the end for him.  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Loose Cannon Fodder #33 [08.19.16]

We didn't really make it around to watching Raw this week as we normally do, which pushed back everything else and then before we knew it Saturday came along and it was time for NXT Take Over Brooklyn II so we felt close enough to Summerslam to just skip Raw and Smack Down! this week.   I don't read play by play reviews or anything after the shows air, but I do read some of the highlights and what I gathered from Raw was that a fan tried to jump in the ring on Seth Rollins and nothing really of note happened on Smack Down!-- hopefully a trend which changes after Summerslam.

It is also interesting that within this week Paige, Alberto Del Rio and Eva Marie have all been suspended for 30 days for violating the wellness policy, and for all different reasons I believe since it wasn't a group suspension situation where WWE just caught them all smoking pot or something    If this leads to Eva Marie no longer being pushed though I'm all for it.   Also, Alberto Del Rio and Paige playing the role of a power couple in ROH would be amazing.

We did watch the recent episode of NXT before Take Over Brooklyn II and it did have two matches.     Hideo Itami defeated CWC competitor Mustafa Ali and I will always enjoy seeing these CWC guys in NXT even if they're losing.   Well, most of them I will enjoy seeing that is to say.    William Regal signed Billie Kay vs. Ember Moon for TOB2 and then we got a six women tag match.    Carmella and Alexa Bliss were the "leaders" on opposite sides making their "returns" to NXT.     Carmella had Liv Morgan on her side, which seemed like a decent fit for Carmella even though Liv Morgan sort of annoys me other than Corey Graves is hilarious on commentary when she is around and also Nikki Glencross made her NXT TV debut, as she was formerly Nikki Storm when wrestling in the UK.    On the other side, Alexa Bliss had Mandy Rose- who was the woman who didn't win Tough Enough but came close and pretty much just annoyed me for the whole show because she's so stupid- and Daria Berenato who was also from that season of Tough Enough and was perhaps best known for her MMA background.    So three NXT TV debuts in the same match in a show which closed with a Samoa Joe-Shinsuke Nakamura sit down interview deal.     It was kind of worth watching just for those two matches I suppose.

So NXT Take Over Brooklyn II was amazing but it was hard to imagine it being anything less.    I'm sitting here typing this on Monday and I haven't watched Summerslam yet, but I'm pretty sure it will still somehow outdo that show because that's just what NXT does.   (And it really should be the opposite way though.   NXT should be 8/10 and WWE should be 10/10 but maybe one day when all the WWE roster is full of these NXT stars I love so much it will happen)

The show opened with Austin Aries vs. No Way Jose and despite what some have thought of as being a bad gimmick for NWJ, this was a really solid match.    No Way Jose just really impressed me with his in ring style here- which is what I believe this match was designed for- even though he took the loss to Austin Aries, who let's face it kind of needed the win here since even though he defeated Baron Corbin in his debut no one seems to really remember that.     After the match Aries continued the assault on NWJ when Hideo Itami came down to make the save and, um, yeah, Itami vs. Aries is on the horizon now.   Is it too soon for Wrestlemania??

Ember Moon made her NXT debut by defeating Billie Kay.   This match made me a fan of Billie Kay more than anything because I've seen Ember Moon outside of NXT and have always liked her, but wow did Billie Kay shine in this spotlight.   One day soon, Billie Kay will be on Smack Down getting wins over Becky Lynch.   Also, I like this whole Ember Moon character we have going here.   It's not quite like anything we've seen in WWE before.   It's not quite close enough to Lucha Underground to think of it as a rip off of one of their characters but it's still not in that sort of realm of characters WWE seems to create.   It's part mythical, part Mortal Kombat and I'm just really enjoying it.

In the third match of the night, Bobby Roode defeated Andrade "Cien" Almas.   It's worth noting that just seeing Roode's entrance was worth it alone here.     Andrade "Cien" Almas might feel like taking the loss here wasn't good but at the same time, Austin Aries took a loss to Shinsuke Nakamura once and then came back to defeat No Way Jose tonight and who knows what will happen when he faces Hideo Itami, but still-- I think of NXT as being great wrestling and the wins and losses mean less than the quality of the matches.   So even if you lose, as long as you have a great match you're still a winner in my book.   Plus, I want to see ACA face off against Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, Hideo Itami and others in NXT-- win/loss record be damned.

While I wish that the tag titles changed hands tonight, it was nice to see The Revival retain so as to keep them as the gatekeepers in NXT for right now.   I feel like The Revival should keep the belts until they're ready for the main roster and then lose them to an established tag team that is either coming in or already there (ie fka TMDK)   Since Gargano tapped to end the match and Gargano also ended up defeating Ciampa in the CWC, I could see Ciampa turning on Gargano to have his Psycho Killer gimmick and run wild in NXT because I do feel kind of like these two could be better in NXT right now apart than together.    But we shall only see in time I suppose.

I didn't expect Bayley to regain the NXT Women's Championship in her rematch with Asuka and I don't think it was that good of a match really.   When Bayley hit a Bayley-to-Belly on Asuka you could see Becky Lynch marking out in the front row and that kind of gave away that it wasn't going to end there.   There was also the moment when Bayley was in the Asukalock but didn't pass out like she did last time (when she lost the title) because she somehow had one of those "Hulking Up" moments which made no sense because then why wasn't she able to do that before when it was a matter of her losing the title?    I also spent a lot of this match wondering whether or not the other Four Horsewomen knew the outcome.   Granted, Bayley and Asuka would know, but would they not tell Becky and Sasha so as to keep their reactions more genuine?   But then after the match she hugged them- including Charlotte- and that felt like her NXT send off and so I feel like they would have been in on that.   Either way, yes, I was thinking of these things more than watching the actual match.   Sorry.

Shinsuke Nakamura came out to a live violinist and, well, at that moment I said that if he didn't win and become the new NXT Champion I would cancel my Network subscription.   Everything from the moment Nakamura stepped through that curtain and during the match was great.   Nakamura is going to be amazing as NXT Champion and it will make NXT even bigger, if such a thing is possible.   Also, with guys like Austin Aries and Bobby Roode in line for title shots now it makes sense to have the title on a good guy (and Joe can have his rematch), but then also something like Nakamura-Itami doesn't seem so weird either.   Though I would like to see Itami-Joe first, but who knows, maybe Samoa Joe will be off to the main roster sooner rather than later.

Impact Talking was up next for some reason and it opened with James Storm talking to Billy Corgan about the differences between country music and grunge.  Billy Corgan said "cowboy" a lot and then suspended James Storm indefinitely.   Wouldn't it be funny if James Storm ended up in NXT now and the NXT-TNA feud began??

Moose defeated Eddie Edwards and the worst thing was that Mike Bennett came oubeing buried in TNA, coming out for one of his first matches and without his own music.    I'd feel badly for Moose but I just don't care.t as well so we had to hear his music instead of the music of Moose.   Moose is already

Gail Kim and Jade were made to face each other by Maria as "punishment" and I just really don't want to see Gail Kim nor Maria in TNA any more.

I thought there was some sort of tag team match up next involving those two NXT rejects Al Snow loves but as it turns out it was just Braxton Sutter.   Rock Star Spud, DJ Z and Mandrews were also in this match to determine a number one contender to the X Division Title and DJ Z ended up winning.   So... Does he face Lashley then or does Lashley just surrender the title to him since he really can't have them all?  TNA really booked themselves into a corner here, didn't they??

EC3 came out to cut a promo, Drew Galloway came out as well and then Aron "I'm Not Tyler" Rex came down to declare himself the referee for their match.   So, Aron Rex will turn on EC3 and side with Drew Galloway.   Or Rex will begin a feud with Galloway, but not that it matters either way.

Eli Drake defeated Shera in a match that was so bad I didn't even care it was actually a match.
Lashley tried to unify all of the titles but Billy Corgan and Dixie Carter told him he couldn't.   I really feel like we're seeing more of Billy Corgan on this episode of Impact Talking than we are of some, um, wrestlers.

In the main event The Broken Hardyz defeated The Helms Dynasty (minus Gregory "Sugar Shane" Helms), BroMans and The Tribunal (who I thought was in the match earlier) to become number one contenders to the tag titles.   So, Hardyz vs. Decay?  I'll take it, even though ths episode of Impact seemed to be lacking something, despite the whole overall fact that wrestling was just not very good last week in general.   I haven't watched the ROH PPV from Friday or EVOLVE but everything from before Friday- which includes Raw and Smack Down!- was pretty bad.    It's like Impact knew they were going up against the Summerslam lead in week and just didn't even try like Raw and Smack Down! didn't try.  

It seems like instead of Raw and Smack Down! this week we did NXT TOB2 and Summerslam.   Though we watched NXT TOB2 live and then didn't watch any wrestling on Sunday.   Then we watched Impact Wrestling on Monday afternoon (Quentin and I) before starting Summerslam on Monday night.    So it was kind of funny how these two big WWE shows were met by Impact in the middle.

I read online that Summerslam was going to be six hours long which made me not want to watch it live.   We didn't bother watching any of the pre-show stuff because despite Neville being there I just didn't feel like it was worth it, though I might one day go back and fast forward through the talking just to see the matches (but probably not)    Summerslam opened with Enzo Amore & Big Cass taking a loss to Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens.   I'm not sure if WWE will keep going ahead with Team Jeri-KO after this or not, but if they do I'm not complaining.   This match was a lot of fun and still, twenty years later, Chris Jericho is kicking off WWE PPVs (though this isn't a true PPV, but whatever) with such great matches.

In the second match on the main show, Charlotte defeated Sasha Banks to regain the WWE Women's Championship.   It seems more and more likely now that we will get an Elite Charlotte action figure with this title and I will have to buy it if only for the belt.    This was an all right match, but I had read online that Sasha Banks lost because she was injured before we watched it so I was just not invested in it like I should have been.   At the same time though, I'm glad I read that spoiler and knew why otherwise I would have been really upset seeing Charlotte win the title back, like, "wtf WWE", but at least knowing about Sasha Banks' injury made it better.   Plus, now Bayley can come to Raw and challenge Charlotte after her send off the night before in NXT.

The third match we watched- and the final match in our first stretch of trying to catch up with Summerslam- saw The Miz retain the IC Title over Apollo Crews.    I was really hoping Apollo Crews would win this match and the IC Title, but then again, it feels like a title change at this level is something that they would do on an episode of Smack Down! to try and make the blue brand seem more special.   So there is also that still.   Only seven more matches to go!  

AJ Styles defeated John Cena in what was probably the match of the night.   It was strange because after the match Cena left one of his arm bands in the ring, as if he has given up.

Up next was some weird angle where Jon Stewart was part of the New Day since Big E was out with injury and I could think about when listening to Stewart was how long this event was (though, thankfully, we broke it up into pieces) and they give this guy time to cut an in ring promo.    Gallows and Anderson were about to break Jon Stewart over the ring post at one point and then Big E came out to make the save.   G&A had these jars with what was supposed to be New Day's testicles in them and Big E drank some of the juice.   It was just... This could have been a good tag team wrestling match but it became a joke.   Also, and not to be that guy, but how is it that New Day had brand new attire for Summerslam and out comes Big E, matching with them?   Obviously that means Kofi and Xavier and whoever made the outfits knew Big E was there and better, so why not just have him come out with New Day at the beginning of the match?   It's just one of those things I'm probably not supposed to overthink but I do anyway and it drives me insane, WWE.  

We stopped watching Summerslam with the next match because I wasn't sure how Quentin would handle the blood in the Lesnar-Orton main event, didn't care about the six woman tag match, didn't care about Rusev-Reigns and we all got spoiled on the Finn Balor-Seth Rollins match, which felt kind of pointless to watch after we learned Finn Balor suffered an injury and had to surrender the title.   So now it's Friday- when I should be completing LCF #34- and I'm finally finishing up LCF #33, probably missing some episodes of ROH TV in the process, but they're likely going on about their most recent PPV as well.   So we're going to hopefully start watching what we missed this week soon enough, with Raw and Smack Down!, and then I can hopefully have #34 done by Monday or Tuesday, but that's also wishful thinking at this point.   As a great band once called their album, I am "trying to never catch up"!

Professional Wrestling Review: You Can't CWC Me! - Week 5 Review

Official WWE results here:

Match One: Tajiri vs. Gran Metalik

This was an interesting match on paper because rumors around WWE were that they had signed Gran Metalik but also that Tajiri had some sort of deal to return to the company as well.    I felt like this really meant these guys were in the same boat and Tajiri could have won to advance the veteran (based on his experience) while Gran Metalik could have won to help establish a new (to WWE) star.   It reminded me a bit of when Tajiri would fight Super Crazy in ECW.    For this being the first week of the second round of the CWC it sure knew how to kick things off.    With Gran Metalik advancing it makes things interesting for the next round because I do feel that buried deep inside somewhere I know that a Tajiri win would have made me feel more like he'd be knocked off in the next round.    The winner here- Gran Metalik- will also go to the Elite 8 against either Akira Tozawa or Jack Gallagher, which should be a fantastic match itself.   I was kind of hoping for a Tajiri-Tozawa match, but Gran Metalik facing either of those two competitors will be something for the ages, especially if Jack Gallagher gets the win, which I kind of expect him to.    Still, if WWE has signed both Tajiri and Gran Metalik to contracts, I look forward to seeing them meeting in the ring again and again.

Match Two: Kota Ibushi vs. Cedric Alexander

I love Kota Ibushi and thought that this would be the match to make me a fan of Cedric Alexander but... It wasn't.   I just couldn't get into this match in the way that I was cheering for or respecting Cedric Alexander after seeing it.   I know Mick Foley likes to be vocal about fans trying to hijack shows- especially at Full Sail University- and I feel like if the fans weren't acting the way they were during the match and after the match then it wouldn't make Cedric Alexander look the same either.    You also have to think about the grander scheme of things and how Cedric Alexander would then translate outside of NXT and, I mean, I just don't see it in him-- whatever it is other people who are in love with him as a wrestler see.   I also feel like the idea of Cedric Alexander being chanted for in terms of "Please Sign Cedric" and then HHH coming out and giving the thumbs up to it just makes him look like... Well, kind of like how The Rock was when he came into WWE as Rocky Maivia.    You know, he can be this man of the people, but it can still be easy to hate him when you're an outsider looking in (i.e. not at Full Sail)   It does seem like an easy set up for a feud after the CWC in NXT or on Raw in the cruiserweight division where someone else can say "Well, I got here based on my talent not because of these people" and it would be a good heel vs. face scenario but I'd find myself actually liking the heel in that instance though-- no matter who it might be.    I just always feel like- especially after this match now- that I will be cheering for whoever Cedric Alexander is facing and just therefore always be against him.   Also, for some reason, I want the cruiserweight division on Raw to feature open challenges every week like Cena did with the U.S. Title so we never really know who is going to be appearing next and they could contract guys who for one shot deals.

As Kota Ibushi defeats Cedric Alexander he is now on his way to face the winner of the Brian Kendrick vs. Tony Nese match, which I kind of hope Brian Kendrick wins now because I'm more excited for the idea of Ibushi-Kendrick and feel like Ibushi should be the one to take Kendrick out of the tournament.     It's shaping up the  right side of the tournament nicely though, as Ibushi is now in the Elite 8 and one step closer to the Final Four and then ultimately advancing to the finals, which is where I see him facing Zack Sabre Jr.   He'll just have to get through Johnny Gargano in the Final Four first.    But, yes, this is the best time now to be watching the CWC because it just keeps getting better and better.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

CD Review: BABEL "MIND THIEF" (the complete Grid Series recordings) (Arachnidiscs)

[$10 CAD //]

Recently, I received an email from Bandcamp informing me that two new Babel CDs were available through the Arachnidiscs Bandcamp page.   Now, as someone who loves cassettes I need it to be noted that I love good music more than cassettes so seeing these as compact discs didn't make me go, "Oh, fuck that" and hold out for cassette releases or just be bitter that they weren't released on cassette.    I was really just excited to hear new music by Babel and so I went on over to the Arachnidiscs Bandcamp page.   While there, I found out that the two new Babel CDs were also double disc sets and- guess what- here was this other double disc set called "Mind Thief" I didn't remember seeing and so I thought, what the hell, let's get all three double disc sets at once since shipping to/from Canada can sometimes be a pain.

I also must note that a lot of what can be typed about "Mind Thief" can be done so under my mindset when listening to it.   If I was to receive what I felt to be a lot of music (And this is, in all fairness, a lot of music from Babel) at once I might feel overwhelmed.   I might listen to it and by the third or fourth release just get to the point where I feel like it's more of the same and it's not as easy to write about it.   Hell, I feel that way sometimes just listening to releases from artists when I've already heard five or more releases from them before that.  (And I'm not talking about the ones I review so much as the ones I listen to which I hope will make me a fan of the artist everyone else seems to like and I just keep not hearing/feeling it)  When these CDs arrived in the mail though I was excited.   I put "Mind Thief" on right away and went into this review not feeling overwhelmed but rather like I was about to embark upon an adventure, the likes of which would leave me forever changed by the conclusion.

The first thing you need to know about "Mind Thief" is that not only is it a two disc set, but it is a HUGE two disc set.   Disc 1 has 17 tracks while Disc 2 has a whopping 18 and they both clock in just over the 70 minute mark.    I tend to use minutes for movies, but at 140 minutes is so this is like a 2 hr 20 min movie right here.   It's not just that this is a double disc set though.   Just listening to the songs on the first disc make you feel like you're getting more than other artists put together as a single album.    So if you want to assign a number to it and say that just one disc can feel like two, maybe three albums in comparisons to other artists, then you also need to factor in that has to be *doubled* here and you're just getting a whole hell of a lot of BABEL, which is not a bad thing.

While the music can be synth-based in nature, looking at the artwork for this one makes me think it's going to sound more like "Tron" than it actually does.    From ambient to flat out electronic dance party, these songs have hints of "Doctor Who" while also feeling like they primarily take place in space.    Through drum machines come feelings of "Halloween" and just a John Carpenter presence overall.    It can loop, it can sort of scream at times and it can even drone.    This is one of those essential synth based pieces of music because it just seems to push synth to new levels and really show you what can be done in not only modern times (I'm looking at you, Muse) but in the 1980's/early 1990's when you think of "Beverly Hills Cop" and that sort of thing.

There exists this eerie sense to the music as well.  I suppose that could come with the "Doctor Who" references I feel, but it also has elements of "The X-Files" in it as well.   At times you feel like you could really be getting into trouble, yet other times could leave you at the edge of your seat, biting your nails.    There is also this energy in the music, which changes levels at times but it never really seems to die down to the point where you just feel like you're endlessly floating through space-- it always maintains a steady drive; no downtime.

Much like how Queen curated a soundtrack to the movie "Flash Gordon", I suspect this of being some similar soundtrack to some lost or forgotten movie which I'm sure I would have really loved had I seen it in the 1980's or even later on in my teens.    With all of the different components there really isn't really a better way than to describe this one as a space synth odyssey, but for all of the music you'll be experiencing that seems like such a vast understatement.

CD Review: Jack Hardy "For The Sake Of Finding Your Clothes" (Custom Made Music)

[$10 //]

The first time that I heard Jack Hardy was on cassette and I will admit that hearing him for the second time on compact disc does make a difference.   Granted, I have the same set up for my cassettes and compact discs (and records for that matter) so they all come out of the same speakers, even though I can listen to CDs through my laptop but the speakers aren't as good that way.   The thing that makes the CDs different from cassettes- as much as it pains me to admit it- is that I can listen to CDs in my car and I cannot listen to cassettes there.    This is just better for that overall surround sound feel.

Listening to "For The Sake Of Finding Your Clothes" in the car can demonstrate how truly loud it is.    You never have to wonder about whether or not people outside of your car can hear the music because you know that with levels like this they obviously can.   It's got that distorted quality to it but it also just makes me think of an artist cranking their guitar amp up and letting it blare.

From combinations of the Flaming Lips only faster paced, Wheatus, High Pop / Buddy Holly, Weezer / the Angus soundtrack to Alexei Shishken, this is just one of those infectious albums I simply cannot get enough of whenever I put it on.   It could be called fuzzy psych pop, sure, but what it comes down to really is that I know it goes under some "pop" genre just not "pop punk" or "pop rock", so the best way to describe it is noise pop and, well, it doesn't really get much better than this.

Cassette Review: Nicole Kidman "Project Sadness" (Kerchow! Records)

[$5 // Edition of 100 //]

Nicole Kidman has been around for a while and I feel like there are cassettes (and even records!) out there in a lot of places which make it hard to keep up unless you're this true die-hard fan and want to perhaps murder someone in their sleep to get that out of print cassette from years and years ago.   But this cassette is actually a tribute of sorts to Nicole Kidman, though it appears as if it is less than a "We're making this cassette for you" and more of a "We're making this cassette *with* you" type of deal.

Morgue Toad, Math, Casey Chisholm and Restaurnaut all appear on here in some capacity and, I mean, this just seems to have a very specific niche of people it will cater to but isn't that what you should like best about it?   Obviously if you're a huge fan of Nicole Kidman you will listen to this because there is still some of that Nicole Kidman involvement in it rather than it just being a straight out covers cassette.   But then if you are also a fan of any of these other artists who take part (or more than one of them) then you should be listening to this as well.

It's kind of fun that both File Island and Suzy's Dead cover the song "Obsess".    Do you think we could get twenty different artists to cover that song and create a cassette called "Obsessed With Nicole Kidman"?   I'd actually be down to listen to that, if the artists each gave it their own sort of take, and both File Island and Suzy's Dead did that here.    I also will likely never grow tired of hearing people sing about how life really sucks and so if you have that same shared apathy to life in general then this cassette is definitely for you.   I think this cassette would do fans of Nicole Kidman justice while at the same time perhaps winning over fans who hadn't yet heard of Nicole Kidman but were fans of another artist on here.   It just functions on so many levels, yet is so specific, that is becomes hard to avoid.